Which Competitors Does DraftKings CEO Think Are ‘Corrupt Idiots?’

Posted on August 24, 2020

It’s clear that the CEO of DraftKings Sportsbook thinks there’s one party responsible for all the hoop-jumping it’s faced in Illinois.

Jason Robins took to Twitter early Monday morning to let Rush Street Gaming know how he feels. The tweet was deleted after less than three hours but LSR captured a screenshot:

Robins praised Gov. J.B. Pritzker for again suspending in-person registration for Illinois sports betting. Pritzker renewed an executive order that ran from early June through late July to allow remote registration.

A Rush Street spokesperson held no fire in response to Robins’ comments Monday afternoon:

Rush Street has never been asked to leave a state, pays taxes on every wager, and has not been named in multiple consumer class action suits.

DraftKings Sportsbook worked fast for remote registration

The executive order apparently caught everyone off guard, but DraftKings Sportsbook got to work quickly, according to Robins:

DraftKings launched less than three weeks ago in Illinois through an agreement with the rebranded DraftKings at Casino Queen. It seemed that the initial suspension of in-person registration caused a flurry of activity in the state as DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet all received temporary operating permits in the same week during July.

But Pritzker ending the suspension came as suddenly as the reinstatement. FanDuel President Kip Levin told LSR the company was working with the expectation that in-person registration was on hold.

Now, FanDuel Sportsbook will likely hurry to get live in the state. No official plans have been announced but FanDuel listed its Illinois plans on a not-so-hidden webpage on its site. Its listed partner, Par-A-Dice Casino, is still not approved for betting.

Why did Robins delete the tweet?

It’s unclear why Robins deleted the tweet, which was being shared plentifully around sports betting Twitter.

Rush Street did lobby strongly to keep “bad actors” out of Illinois because of its daily fantasy sports operations. That created an unfair advantage for the two to begin creating a database of potential sports betting customers, Rush Street argued. And while Rush Street failed to keep them out completely, Illinois’ sports betting law created something of a penalty box for DraftKings and FanDuel.

The two could operate in the state in one of two ways: get a casino partner, as they have in many other states, or wait for $20 million online-only licenses to become available a year and a half after the market launched in March.

Rush Street did not directly address rumors of its involvement with the end of the in-person suspension in July. The situation certainly seems unusual – Pritzker required sports bettors to travel to casinos during a pandemic just after Rush Street’s biggest competitors received their licenses – but it’s not quite a smoking gun.

Rush Street’s BetRivers was the only sportsbook to launch its mobile book in time to take advantage of the first suspension.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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